Does Red Light Therapy Help Stretch Marks?

✓ Medically Reviewed by Jack Cincotta

stretch marks

Red light therapy is an excellent treatment for stretch marks. By utilising a high-quality red-light therapy device you can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks over time.

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are caused when the skin expands too quickly which causes the skin to tear. Stretch marks usually occur red in colour to start which and over time they will fade in colour. Stretch marks can be itchy whilst they heal and can cause a lot of distress to the person who has them.

Common ways stretch marks can form are as follows:

·      After giving birth

·      Rapid fat gain

·      Building muscle

·      Growth spurts

The severity of stretch marks can be influenced by genetics and the degree of stress on the skin. The faster the body expands the more pronounced the stretch marks may be on your body. Cortisol may also play a role as this hormone can weaken the elastic fibres found in our skin.

Stretch marks are most common in the following areas:

·      Stomach

·      Breasts

·      Arms

·      Buttocks

·      Thighs

Stretch marks are very common, up to 90% of people have them. The appearance of stretch marks can be influenced by your skin health, elastically of the skin, skin tone and the area the stretch marks form on the body.

Symptoms of stretch marks include:

·      Skin itchiness

·      Glossy white lines across your skin

·      Pink, purple of red lines across your body

There are many ways to get rid of stretch marks which include moisturising, self-tanning lotions, and prescription creams. In recent years a new treatment for stretch marks has gathered interested, red light therapy.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is a non-invasive light treatment which uses visible red and invisible infrared light to treat the skin tissues.

Red light at 630nm and near infrared light at 850nm can stimulate collagen production via optimising cellular respiration. This can help with various skin conditions such as acne, cellulite and stretch marks which can be a fantastic alternative to invasive treatments like plastic surgery.

By stimulating cytochrome c-oxidase at the 4th phase of electron chain transport, more adenosine triphosphate can be produced. The efficiently in cellular respiration, as a result, can stimulate more cellular rejuvenation and restoration.

How to Use Red Light Therapy for Stretch Marks?

Recent academic studies have demonstrated that red light therapy can be incredibly effective at treating a variety of skin conditions. The way red light can do this is by stimulating skin cell regeneration via an uptick in adenosine triphosphate (ATP production). This occurs during electron chain transport which is the principal mechanism by which our mitochondria produces energy at a cellular level.

By freeing up more oxygen by reacting with nitric oxide our mitochondria can produce energy more efficiently which leads to cellular rejuvenation and a reduction in scar tissue.

In terms of skin repair it’s all about collagen production. What LED light therapy does is help produce more optimally functioning fibroblasts. A fibroblast is what is required to make more collagen. If we do not produce collagen efficiently it can be difficult to repair stretch mark issues.

In 2017 a study was conducted which demonstrated more collagen was produced utilising red light therapy against a control group that did not received red light therapy. Other clinical trials have demonstrated that red light, not infrared light, is more optimal for skin rejuvenation, collagen production and repairing stretch marks.

The reason for this is red light influences with skin cells whereas infrared light penetrates deeper into the muscles and bones for a deeper treatment.

Low level laser therapy has been shown to significantly improve blood circulation. This helps with the transportation of essential nutrients around the body. By improving blood circulation your body can produce collagen more efficiently as last waste material is present to interfere with its production.

Red and near infrared light therapy reduces inflammation which can assist with the itchiness of stretch marks. By reducing inflammation at a cellular level you can speed up the restoration of stretch marks.

How to use Red Light Therapy at Home for Stretch Marks?

The best place to use red light therapy to treat stretch marks is at home.

Using red light to assist with stretch marks in a wellness establishment can be expensive. Using low level light therapy can be easy, cheap, and effective, check out more on how to use red light therapy at home here.

To utilise red light therapy for the treatment of stretch marks is simple. Using red light at 630 nanometers is the optimal option for dramatically fading stretch marks. To get the most optimal results from your red light machine, stand or sit between 3 inches and 1 foot away.

There are many different types of red light devices for helping with stretch marks. These range from small handheld devices which are fantastic for localised treatments, to entire body panels which can help treat the entire body in a single session.

You should utilise red light therapy for at least 20 minutes per day, every day for between 4-12 weeks to start seeing a significant reduction in stretch mark visibility.

Is Red Light Therapy Safe?

There has been in excess 4,000 peer reviewed academic studies on red light therapy. Almost all these academic studies conclude that red light therapy is a safe and effective treatment. Red laser therapy can show almost zero side effects.

When starting out on your journey with low level light therapy it is paramount to conduct a photosensitivity test. This will assist you avoid a potential adverse reaction. It is also highly recommended to speak to a qualified physician before embarking with red light therapy.

It is also essential to ensure the device you are using is both registered as a medical device and has electrical certification. An electrically safe red-light panel will give you peace of mind when using it.

Other Conditions Red Light Therapy Can Help With?

Red light therapy has been shown to help with numerous conditions. The key ones can be found below:


How to Choose the Best Red Light Therapy Panel?

There are thousands of companies you can purchase a red light panel from. It can be difficult to navigate the mind field of devices out there to ensure you choose the best panel for you. Below are our top 5 tips to consider when buying the best red light therapy device.

  1. It is essential to choose the best sized panel for your needs. If you want to spot treat stretch marks, then opt for a smaller panel.
  2. Get a panel with lab grade irradiance. Irradiance is the power of the red light device. Ensure you select a panel with >100mw/cm2 to get the most optimal treatment for stretch marks
  3. Ensure your red light panel is electrically safe. Many brands sell red light therapy devices that have not passed stringent electrical safety standards. Ensure your device holds electrical safety certification so you can safely administer red light therapy for stretch marks.
  4. Check your red light panel has been registered as a medical device. FDA approved, CE and FDA registering is a must.
  5. When choosing the best red light therapy panel ensure it emits low EMF and low flicker. This will help you have the safest treatment possible.

Why BON CHARGE Red Light Therapy?

BON CHARGE red light panels are the best choice for the following reasons:

1.     EESS/SAA electrical certification

2.     ARTG/FDA registered

3.     Low flicker rates

4.     Low EMF output

5.     High irradiance over 100mw/cm2

6.     Multiple sizes to choose from.

Check out our comparison chart below

red light therapy comparison chart

Further Reading

Does Red Light Therapy Work?


  1. Stretch Marks
  2. Everything You Need to Know About Stretch Marks
  3. Phototherapy with Light Emitting Diodes: Treating a Broad Range of Medical and Aesthetic Conditions in Dermatology
  4. A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, and split-face clinical study on LED phototherapy for skin rejuvenation: clinical, profilometric, histologic, ultrastructural, and biochemical evaluations and comparison of three different treatment settings
  5. Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation
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